Young mechanic Andrew Campbell’s life couldn’t be better. He is about to restore a Ford Mustang with his dad before heading off on the ultimate cross-country road trip with his best friend, Tanner McKenzie.
But tragedy strikes, and Andrew’s life is shattered. Worried his family will be torn apart if he doesn’t step in, Andrew makes a tough choice between following his heart and doing what he needs to do to protect his little brother.
When Andrew pushes Tanner away, Tanner heads off on the planned trip alone. Once Tanner leaves town, his life takes a different path and it’s ten years before he returns. Now a firefighter, he’s never forgotten his first love, and no one has ever taken Andrew’s place in his heart. He’s determined to see if Andrew feels the same way. He just hopes Andrew’s excited to see him, hopes that he’s available—and finally out—after all this time.
They might not have been ready to deal with emerging feelings years ago, but now might be the time for their second chance at love.
Renae: This is the second book in the Heroes Series, following on from Charlie’s Hero which was released in June 2015.
Nic: Thanks for hosting me today, Renae. I’m so excited to be celebrating the release of Andrew’s Promise and it’s always a pleasure to visit your blog. **dances in confetti shower**
Renae: So explain to us what the connection between Charlie’s Hero and Andrew’s Promise is.
Nic: Charlie’s Hero is the story of Josh and Charlie. Josh was reluctant to come out to his brother, Andrew, and this put pressure on his relationship with Charlie. The reason for Josh’s hesitation was fear of losing the only family he had. Andrew had devoted his life to raising Josh, but certain things had lead Josh to believe that Andrew would push him away if he knew he was gay.
Andrew’s Promise tells Andrew’s story. It shows the type of man Andrew was before his father’s death changed the course of his life, and importantly, it gives Andrew his happy ever after.
Nic: Yes. The story starts about ten years before the events in Charlie’s Hero. You’ll get to meet Josh when he was only fifteen, and meet the young Andrew and his best friend, Tanner. Some of the events from the first book are retold but this time from Andrew’s point of view. The story then picks up at the end of Charlie’s Hero when Andrew and Tanner reconnect. I know a lot of readers particularly loved the little glimpse of Tanner at the end of Charlie’s Hero. **wink**
Renae: So Andrew and Tanner were best friends – but never kept in touch?
Nic: Andrew had his reasons, perhaps misguided, but with his brother’s best interests at heart, he pushed Tanner away. It was too painful for both of them to see each other if they couldn’t have more than friendship, so Tanner left town. Tanner ended up in the military, a career that kept him away.
Renae: A second chance at love? What about you? What would you do if your high school crush turned up and declared he loved you? Do you think you’d think about it if you were single?
Nic: To be honest, while I love the idea of second chances at love, and enjoy reading about them in stories, I don’t think it is for me. Maybe it’s because I’m thinking back on my own boyfriends and none of them are up to scratch. I like the memories but that’s where they should stay. Perhaps it’s because it wasn’t really true love?
Renae: Ten years? Are they even the same people?
Nic: People change a lot over the course of ten years. Particularly when they are young at the beginning of the journey. Andrew and Tanner were only in their early twenties when they separated. They knew in their hearts they loved each other but they still had a lot of growing up to do. Andrew faced a lot of responsibility over ten years, and some of his regrets coloured his life. Tanner experienced life away from their town and saw more of the world than Andrew did. But at their core, they were the same people, just with different experiences and a new level of maturity.
Renae: And what about Charlie and Josh? Do we get to catch up with them in this book?
Nic: Of course! It was fun to write Tanner’s response to meeting the ‘grown up’ Josh and learning he was in love with Charlie. And there’s a sneak peek at Josh and Charlie’s future.
Nic: I started Charlie’s Hero in response to a story submission call for stories about love at first sight. The publisher only wanted shorter stories though, and my word count grew as Charlie and Josh’s story developed. So my short story grew to a novel. Andrew’s Promise came about because I wanted to give Andrew his happy ending. He’s such a caring and loving brother, he deserved to have the man of his dreams too.
Renae: So you’re going to write a third? A fourth? For the series?
Nic: The ending of Andrew’s Promise gives a big hint that Patrick and Simon will get their story in the next book. *grin* As friends of Josh and Charlie, they make an appearance in both books. When Patrick experienced some issues with his housemate, he moved in with Simon, a paramedic who works with Josh. They have a crush on each other but haven’t explored a relationship yet. So along with working up the courage to get together, Patrick needs to deal with some issues from this past. The book is called Patrick’s Savior. I have ideas for a fourth, and potentially a fifth book, so we’ll see.
Renae: So in Charlie’s Hero we had a paramedic... and now we have a firefighter in Andrew’s Promise... Do we get a policeman in the next?
Nic: Funny you should mention that! *grin* Patrick’s Savior’s lead characters are a paramedic and a school administrator. However, the police do get involved in the story. You’ll see some more of Duncan, a secondary character from the earlier books who is a cop. He’s the partner of Tanner’s best friend, Antonio. Antonio is an accountant by the way, so they’re not all emergency workers. And don’t forget Charlie is a schoolteacher and Andrew is a mechanic. LOL.
Renae: C’mon – you can admit it Nic. It’s just me (and all my readers). Do you have a little bit of a “thing” for emergency workers?
Nic: Yep! *grin* Doesn’t everyone?
Renae: Okay, okay. So tell me, was the second book hard to write when you had to match up timelines?
Nic: Don’t remind me. Urgh! Keeping the timeline and story straight was a large focus during the writing of Andrew’s Promise. There are a number of scenes that appear in both books that needed careful consideration. But my biggest challenge was writing one particular conversation that appears in both books. It’s the scene in the first story, where Josh gets the idea that Andrew is not supportive of gay people. After this discussion takes place, Josh sees Andrew push Tanner, his best friend away, so is sure this is what Andrew would do to him. In Andrew’s Promise, this whole series of events is told from Andrew’s point of view.
Renae: Is there any great sacrifice you’ve made in your life for family?
Nic: Sacrifice is part of being in a family and having kids. As mothers, we always put our children first. But I don’t believe I’ve done anything any other mother or family member wouldn’t do. Any sacrifices I’ve made have been relatively small compared to some of the life changing acts I’ve seen of others. I’m grateful every day, that my family is healthy and whole, and these types of sacrifices aren’t required.
Renae: Thanks for joining me on my blog, and sharing a bit of your journey. Good luck with this new book and I hope it’s a great release day for you.
Nic: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been lots of fun as usual. **heart**